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Information about common copyright warning notices and when to use them.
Copyright warning notices are used by libraries and archives in a number of client-facing situations. You can typically find them included with electronic materials supplied in response to a document delivery request or displayed near photocopiers and other machines or devices on the library or archive premises that are capable of copying content.
The text of copyright warning notices for display near copy machines, and other requirements related to those notices, are prescribed in the Copyright Regulations. The text of a copyright warning notice when communicating a work for document delivery is not prescribed in the regulations. This page provides more information about the copyright warning notices used in these situations.
Copyright warning notices for document delivery
It is increasingly common for libraries and archives to send document delivery items to clients electronically. When communicating material to clients in response to a document delivery request, a library must issue the recipient with a copyright warning notice.
The library or archive must issue the notice to the person who made a document delivery request for a periodical article or a part of an article, or the whole or a part of a published work, before or when the reproduction is communicated to them.
That notice must state that:
- The reproduction was made under section 49 of the Copyright Act and that the article or work might be subject to copyright protection under the Act.
- Further dealings with the reproduction may infringe copyright.
- The application of an exception affects whether further dealings would infringe copyright e.g. if the use of the material is a fair dealing or falls within the scope of of another exception.
Copyright warning notices for display near copying machines
Another situation that calls for copyright warning notices relates to the use of ‘copying machines’ in libraries. Photocopiers, printers, scanners, computers (PCs), cameras and other recorders (whether digital or analogue) and other devices capable of copying content are all examples of copying machines that you might find in a modern library or archive.
To avoid authorisation liability for the use of copying machines by clients, libraries and archives should display a copyright warning notice on or in close proximity to copying machines.
The wording of and form that these copyright notices should take are outlined in the Copyright Regulations. There are three notices included in the regulations:
- Notice about the reproduction of works and the copying of published editions (Photocopier notice) – This notice is recommended where your library or archive only has copying machines capable of copying works or published editions of works (e.g. photocopiers). This notice may also be displayed where such copying machines are separate to other copying machines capable of copying audio-visual content (e.g. computers).
- Notice about the copying of audio‑visual items (Audio-visual notice) – This notice is recommended where your library or archive only has copying machines capable of copying audio-visual content (e.g. public access computers). This notice may also be displayed where such copying machines are separate to other copying machines capable of copying works or published editions of works.
- Notice about the reproduction of works and the copying of published editions and audio‑visual items (Combined notice) – Because this notice includes the text for the two notices above it is recommended where your library has copying machines capable of copying works or published editions of works and audio-visual content. This notice may also be displayed where both types of copying machine are near each other (i.e. to avoid the need to display two notices).
When displaying any of the three notices, the notice must:
- Include the prescribed text (because the text is prescribed in the Copyright Regulations it should be reproduced exactly).
- Be at least A4-size (297 mm × 210 mm).
- Be affixed to, or displayed in close proximity to, the copying machine/s, in a place readily visible to persons using the machine.
Templates of the three notices are available below.
You can view the copyright warning notice templates online on Google Drive or download them in a number of formats: Portable Document Format (PDF), Word Document Office Open XML (DOCX), Word Document (DOC), Rich Text Format (RTF) and OpenDocument Text Document (ODT).